CBN insert proves decisive at hydropower specialist

Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon (Gilkes), a specialist in the design and manufacture of hydropower turbines and pumps, is constantly looking at new, more exotic materials to help reduce wear and extend operating times.

Says Derek Thomas, Gilkes’ production engineering manager: “Most recently we utilised tungsten carbide coatings on the runner systems within our turbines. This development posed challenges to our in-house production team, who worked closely with our tooling supplier Ceratizit to achieve the desired result.”

The part in question was a 600 mm diameter F35 Super Duplex ring that was subject to abrasion from sediment. Ceratizit recommended a new CTBH 40U CBN grade insert, which was developed specifically for turning hardened materials, especially where intermittent cutting was an issue. Two inserts were ordered and delivered the next day and, with cutting data of 210 m/min surface speed and 0.12 mm/rev feed rate with a 0.25 mm depth of cut, it was put to the test.

“The result was superb, just one insert was needed to complete the machining operation and the surface finish generated was excellent,” says production engineer Justine Marshall. “The insert cut the tungsten-carbide coating like a dream.”

The suggestion of the CBN CTBH 40U insert is typical of the support offered to customers by Ceratizit UK & Ireland’s time-served technical sales engineers and applications engineering teams, who can call on over 100,000 products in the standard catalogue to solve specific problems. In the case of Gilkes, Ceratizit visits on a fortnightly basis to discuss any upcoming requirements and service the two Ceratizit tool-vending machines on site. One of these vendors is the latest TOM 840 unit capable of storing up to 840 individual items.
For further information